Cardiovascular exercise, also known as aerobic exercise, uses large muscle groups, continued over relatively long periods of time. Examples of cardiovascular exercise are walking, running, cycling, swimming, playing tennis, and even pushing a lawn mower. When you participate in cardiovascular exercise, your heart rate and breathing rate become elevated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend two hours and thirty minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity every week for health benefits to occur.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Since cardiovascular exercise requires energy, the food that you eat, and fat stored in your adipose tissue are used as fuel when you exercise. The longer your exercise session is, the more calories you will burn. When the readily available glucose is used up in your blood, your body will resort to burning extra fat, therefore increasing your chances for successful weight loss. Cardiovascular exercise will also increase muscle tone, which will increase your basal metabolic rate, or the amount of calories it takes to sustain your body's functions at rest.
Increasing the Body's Efficiency
When you attain cardiovascular endurance, several internal adaptations take place in your body that make you healthier, with a greater ability to handle intense cardiovascular exercise. Your heart becomes stronger, with the ability to pump blood throughout your circulatory system much more efficiently. The delivery system of oxygen to your working muscles becomes much more effective, as with the ability for waste and carbon dioxide to be carried out of your muscles. Also, you develop more hemoglobin in your blood and more capillaries, for a greater ability to transport blood to the areas of your body where it is needed.
Reducing the Risk of Disease
By participating in cardiovascular exercise and gaining cardiovascular endurance, you will reduce your risk of several chronic and life-threatening diseases, such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers, such as colon cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer and multiple myeloma cancers. The American College of Sports Medicine states that higher levels of cardiovascular fitness are associated with a 50 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease risk. If you participate in regular cardiovascular exercise, you will also increase your insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, reducing your chances for developing type 2 diabetes.
Improving Your State of Mind
Building your cardiovascular endurance through exercise does more than just improve the healthy of your body physically. Being active is an effective way to combat anxiety, stress and even depression. Exercise triggers the release of endorphins, which can quickly elevate your mood. Finding time to exercise several times per week can not only make you feel better, but can also lead to an increase in your self of self-esteem.